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AC Ryan Playon!HD Essential Review

Rating: 9.0.

Dutch based A.C. Ryan have been receiving critical acclaim recently for their series of Playon!HD media devices. We have reviewed their full range so far on KitGuru and today we look at their latest edition, the Playon! HD Essential.

The Essential is the first ‘no network media player’ with the option to upgrade to a network. The onboard chip is provided by Realtek without networking, however A.C. Ryan have cleverly created an option in the player to upgrade with the additional purchase of the ‘Essential USB Wi-Fi Dongle’.

This media player also features their Playon! GUI 2.0 interface, which is based on the Realtek SDK 4.0. With this chipset in place, the A.C. Ryan developers have been able to update the coding directly and to design the interface and all the graphics incorporated.

A.C. Ryan are releasing three versions of the Essential.

ACR-PV73500 – 500GB Playon !HD Essential 500GB € 139
ACR-PV73500 – 1TB Playon !HD Essential 1TB € 155
ACR-PV73500 – 2TB Playon!HD Essential 2TB € 199

Today we are looking at the 1TB version which can be bought from Scan in the UK for around £130 inc vat, a very attractive price point.

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  • Tech Head

    A pretty much needed idea from them to be honest. always wondered why they didnt make one without networking capabilities.

    GOod review, covered all the bases. Shame about the interface speed, wonder if its a CPU issue ?

  • Samuel

    Wow I was waiting for one of theirs to have 1gb lan and now they remove it totally 🙁

    seems really good, but I want a luxury high end model with everything. 2TB drive, gigabit lan, the works. and hopefully this interface. on the cards AC Ryan or not ?

  • Rufus Gilroy

    Cant believe how small they have made it compared to the older ones. is this totally new hardware inside? I was wanted this interface on a new system. i almost bought the HD model, but am waiting for the next gen, as id like to use it as a NAS drive too. 100mbit isnt fast enough.

  • Man in hungry

    Very good, price cant be faulted. but I might look around for other options. I think I would want network capabilities and probably not slow wireless.

  • Benjamin

    Very good, interesting read. When is it out?

  • Fred

    Does it handle DVD folders on a drive?

  • Geoffrey

    Are they making a new one with networking and this new interface?

  • Lampchop

    The delays are putting me off, where the other HD products like this or could it be a CPU issue?

  • Its out soon.
    Yes it can play DVD folders.
    I have no info on upcoming products.
    The slow responses I would hope can be fixed with updates.

  • Roger

    I think the OS issues are probably initial code which they will patch soon. im confident in their team, I bought the HD a few months ago after reading the review here, and the last update fixed issues for me. really good company with a keen eye on the community.

  • dave

    Really tempted to make a purchase of this media player after looked over the quite a few of late, could you tell me though does it play achvd with the menus from iso’s or do I have to strip them out so they are back to mts

  • cloud_kjo

    Do not Buy This unit!!!

    There are many bugs found which are not yet fix until now.

    I’ve waited for 8 months for firmware update without any clue or hint when it will be released and which bugs are fixed.

    Waste of money…

  • Bought the Veolo 4K but I was hugely disappointed with the JukeBox function that it could not scrub for poster art for my movies. Interface is difficult to use and the supplied remote is a farce. Support was a joke. Told me its not a good JukeBox player and asked me to use Kodi, what a terrible product for such a premium price. AC Ryan needs to focus on customer experience in product design, navigation, and support. Will not buy anything from this company. Lost my trust.